Using DisplayLink with Ubuntu 21.04 (“Hirsute Hippo”)

By | February 21, 2021

UPDATE [August 9, 2021]: It turns out DisplayLink doesn’t quite work in 21.04. See this blog posting for the latest on how to work around the remaining issue.

UPDATE [June 3, 2021]: DisplayLink works on Ubuntu 21.04 now without any of my fixes. If you’ve installed my fixes, see this blog posting for uninstall instructions.

UPDATE [May 10, 2021]: A bug in the installer script which was preventing it from detecting some Ubuntu 21.04 installations has been fixed. The download link below has the fixed version.

UPDATE [March 19, 2021]: The modified installer described below is necessary, but no longer sufficient to make DisplayLink work with Ubuntu 21.04. Please see this newer blog posting for additional details.

The DisplayLink installer for Ubuntu currently being distributed by the folks at DisplayLink.com is incompatible with Ubuntu 21.04. I’ve made some minor changes to make it work. You can download my modified version here.

To use it:

  1. Download the file at the link above.
  2. Unpack it with tar xf displaylink-5.3.1.34-hirsuite.tar.gz, which will create a directory called displaylink-5.3.1.34-hirsute.
  3. Cd into that directory and run sudo ./displaylink-installer.sh install.

This version contains the following changes from the official distribution:

  1. It displays a warning telling you that it’s an unofficial version and what is different in it.
  2. It uses the EVDI kernel module shipped by Ubuntu rather than the one in the installer, since that one won’t compile on Ubuntu 21.04.
  3. It contains a workaround for an apparent bug in udev in Ubuntu 21.04 (see here for details about the bug).

Feel free to email me at jik@kamens.us with questions about using this modified installer on Ubuntu 21.04. Please don’t email me with DisplayLink that aren’t about using this modified installer on Ubuntu 21.04.

P.S. For the paranoid among you, here is how you can confirm that the changes enumerated above are the only ones in my modified installer:

  1. Download and unpack my installer as described above.
  2. Download the official Ubuntu installer from DisplayLink.com. That will give you a file whose name ends in “.zip”.
  3. Unzip that file, which will give you a file whose name ends in “.run”.
  4. Run sh displaylink-driver-5.3.1.34.run --noexec --keep --target orig. That will create a directory called orig containing the official installer’s contents.
  5. Run diff -r orig path/displaylink-5.3.1.34-hirsute, where path is the directory you unpacked my tar file in.

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22 thoughts on “Using DisplayLink with Ubuntu 21.04 (“Hirsute Hippo”)

  1. Roland Nagtegaal

    Thanks for the work and the post. Displaylink works for me now. I have some issues to report though, in case you are interested:
    1) Movement of windows and videos in Youtube and such suffer from lag and judder
    2) 200% CPU usage of the /opt/displaylink/DisplayLinkManager process on a 8 core /16 thread 4800H processor (tuxedo computers pulse 15 laptop)
    3) Fonts seem much coarser and I suspect anti-aliasing does not work on the monitors connected through DisplayLink. On the laptop screen it seems OK.
    4) Sound works on the DisplayLink monitors but it is really soft. So soft I cannot really tell if audio and video are in sync. And possibly these AOC 24″ monitors just cannot go louder.
    So all in all it now works, but it does not work _well_. Maybe future software updates will fix these issues.

    Reply
    1. Roland Nagtegaal

      returning to point 3)
      My display setup is one laptop and two 24″ AOC monitors connected by displayport cable via a Dell DisplayLink docking station. One of the two AOC displays seems antialiased, and the other is clearly not (or at the very least less antialiased). I know, it sounds weird, but that is what I see.

      Reply
      1. Roland Nagtegaal

        See this youtube video for the difference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzkB3Hh0mwg
        Apologies for the shakiness, Moiré effects and focussing. I still think the difference between the left screen (bad or no anti-aliasing) and the right screen (OK anti-aliasing) is clearly visible.

        Reply
  2. Johan van de Merwe

    Thank you very much. I uninstalled the driver first, used your download link and installed that as you have explained. And now I have my 3 displays back as it was before. I already was afraid that my “friday” upgrade would make me regret that I just did something I shouldn’t have done. But you really saved the day … and weekend. Thanks again.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: DisplayLink is now working with Ubuntu 21.04 – Something better to do

  4. Peter Boros

    It seems things got fixed upstream, I’ve just got it working with version 5.4 of the displaylink-driver, kernel 5.11.0-18 and version 1.9.1-1ubuntu1 of evdi-dkms and libevdi0. (I’m using Wayland.)

    Reply
  5. John

    Hey,

    So I’m trying to get this to work on:
    5.11.0-17-generic

    But I am not having any luck.

    An ideas?

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      Did you read the first paragraph of this blog posting (starting with “UPDATE [March 19, 2021]:”) and follow the instructions in it?

      Reply
      1. John

        I feel so stupid. Thank you so much. I downgraded to 5.10 and it worked. Cheers!

        Reply
  6. Nikolas

    Hi! Stumbled upon this blogpost.

    Noticed that you are checking for “Hisrute Hippo”. On my 21.04 LTS only “Ubuntu 21.04” is reported without the codename.

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      This is fixed. The download link above now has the fixed version. Thanks for letting me know.

      Reply
  7. Bastian

    Distribution discovered: Ubuntu 21.04
    This installer only works on Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo)

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      This is now fixed. The download link above now has the fixed version. I apologize for not fixing it sooner; I did not understand from your comment what was wrong until the later comment above yours. I should have paid more careful attention; sorry.

      Reply
  8. Pingback: Update on using DisplayLink with Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) – Something better to do

  9. Hapee

    Dear Jonathan,

    thanks for the nice work, really appreciated. Ubuntu brought out an update for hirsute with kernel 5.11.0-11-generic which is not working with the monitor, I tried to run your installer again and saw no error but Acer is not working still. Not sure if there will be more kernel updates for hirsute. We will see.
    Would be nice to know if you created an update for the installler.
    Kind regards,
    Hapee

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      I am not sure what you are referring to. I just installed all currently available Hirsute updates and kernel 5.11 is not among them; the most recent kernel version I see in hirsute is still 5.10.

      If your DisplayLink monitor worked with kernel 5.10 but not kernel 5.11, and you’re certain that the version of evdi you have installed is the Ubuntu version rather than the version that ships with the DisplayLink.com installer, then you could file an Ubuntu bug report about the fact that evdi isn’t working in kernel 5.11, but other than that I’m not sure what to tell you.

      Reply
      1. Hapee

        I was just trying to thank you 😉
        But this is the latest hirsute kernel:
        5.11.0-11-generic
        and the error is indeed related to edvi-dkms not installing:
        evdi-dkms 1.7.0+dfsg-1ubuntu2: evdi kernel module failed to build

        I do not expect anything just wanted it to let you know.

        Reply
        1. jik Post author

          This isn’t “just trying to thank me,” this is asking me for something:

          Would be nice to know if you created an update for the installler.

          I don’t mind people asking me for things, but please don’t act like you’re not asking me for something when you are.

          But this is the latest hirsute kernel: 5.11.0-11-generic

          Again: I have two different computers upgraded to hirsute and neither of them is showing an available 5.11 kernel. Furthermore, https://packages.ubuntu.com/hirsute/kernel/ does note show a 5.11 kernel version. So, again: I don’t know what you’re referring to. Repeating yourself doesn’t solve that problem. If you believe 5.11 is the current hirsute kernel, then please provide some additional information about how you’re determining that to help me understand what you’re referring to.

          Reply
            1. jik Post author

              You know what would show “good intentions”? Either admitting you were wrong about the current hirsute kernel or GIVING SOME EVIDENCE THAT YOU ARE RIGHT SO THAT I CAN ACT ON THAT INFORMATION TO PERHAPS GIVE YOU THE HELP YOU CAME HERE TO ASK FOR.

              You made an assertion while asking me for help. I told you I believe that assertion is incorrect and that unless I can find an explanation for the discrepancy between your assertion and my understanding, I cannot help you. I told you WHY I believe that assertion is incorrect, and provided evidence to support my belief. I asked you to provide whatever information you can to help me understand why you think you’re correct. You ignored my request — twice! — and instead simply reasserted the same thing.

              That’s obnoxious, especially from someone who describes themselves as “open source, development of people and software, webdeveloper, ict4d, drupal, linux, ubuntu, geek, groenlinks, opendata, security, qubes, pgp & greenhost” and develops software for a living. You should know better.

              Don’t come here asking me for help and then refuse to give me what I need to help you. I shouldn’t have to say this to anyone, let alone to someone with your bio.

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